Saturday,27 May, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1344, (11 - 17 May 2017)
Saturday,27 May, 2017
Issue 1344, (11 - 17 May 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Landmark law

Egypt’s new sports law was finally approved by parliament, reports Inas Mazhar

After almost two years of debates, public discussions and amendments, a new sports law was born on Sunday 7 May after being approved by parliament.

President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi must still ratify the law but that is considered a formality.

The law is a milestone in the history of Egyptian sports. For the first time, the minister of youth and sports, the government’s representative, will relinquish his authority of sports federations and clubs to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the general assembly's of these bodies.

"It's time they make their own decisions and take full responsibility,” Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz said. “Our role now is to monitor as the governing ministry in government.

"It’s true that the law has taken a long time but we needed to give all stakeholders involved in bringing out the law the chance to review all its articles and clauses to avoid any irregularities in the future. Actually, it came out even earlier; we were expecting it the last quarter of the year. We needed a new modern law that would comply with the provisions of the International Olympic Charter.

“We are really glad that after two years, the law is coming to effect with massive approval first, from all parties involved and members of parliament as well," Added Abdel-Aziz.

Head of the Youth and Sports Committee Farag Amer described the approval of the new law by parliament as historic. "The approval was by consensus which means it will have positive effects on the Egyptian sports industry. It will also open doors for investing in sports in general. This law will go into effect as soon as the head of state ratifies it. We hope it will help bring football fans back to the stands in the national league.

"The tough penalties included in some of the articles of this legislation will definitely put an end, to an extent, to all sorts of violence in our stadiums and will help bring back order and discipline as the penalties include prison and huge fines. It is time we enjoy watching beautiful sports being played amidst a peaceful and healthy atmosphere.

"There are also articles that include severe penalties and fines against those who use steroids as they destroy Egyptian sports and lead to its suspension," Amer added.

With the new sports law, all Egyptian clubs, sports federations and the NOC are expected to hold their respective elections which have been on hold awaiting the new law.

Elections usually take place every four years, after every Summer Olympic Games. But since Egypt had no sports law, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) forbade any elections to take place until a law was passed.

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